Bob Atkinson Quote that reads "People often come to Braille Institute with little or no hope and, in time, discover there are virtually no limits to what they can achieve."

Braille Institute Centennial

Our story starts with breaking boundaries. When cowboy J. Robert Atkinson lost his sight as a young adult, he overcame crippling depression and learned to read again. The words helped his mind take flight, jumping off the page and empowering him as an exceptional leader, innovator and advocate for the blind.

Atkinson was tireless in his efforts, launching a Braille printing press (and publishing the first Braille edition of the King James Bible), lobbying legislators and assisting with job placement for people with visual impairment.

For 100 years, Braille Institute has empowered people across Southern California and nationwide to see that, with support and determination, there is no limit to what they can achieve.

A Century of Connections

When it comes to low or no vision, what you see does not have to be what you get. No matter your visual impairment, the world is yours to experience and embrace. With new tools and skills, you can break through boundaries and explore new horizons, opening up breathtaking vistas of opportunity. Watch this video of three people who share their stories of inspiration and independence.

A Century of Self Discovery

At Braille Institute, we take students on a voyage of self-discovery. By developing critical life skills through our signature programs and services, they learn how to pursue the life they love.

Every day, we put people on a path to independence. Our students travel the world, earn college and graduate degrees and succeed in meaningful careers. Whether their goal is to crisscross the globe or navigate their living room, we teach them to unlock their boundless potential and move ahead to thrive.

Braille Institute student Mark D works on his 3D modeling project.

Mark is a visually-impaired Designer who uses computer accessibility techniques to work on his 3D modeling skills and advance his career.

Braille Institute youth student learns how to skate board.

Youth students who are blind or visually impaired work with professional adidas-sponsored skate boarders using specialized orientation and mobility techniques to skate board for the first time.

Antonio D. practices Karate during a class at the Braille Institute in Rancho Mirage. Antonio Delgado won 3rd place recently during an international competition.

Tony D. uses specialized orientation and mobility techniques to study Karate and Tai Chi, learning balance and awareness. Karate class students attended the 2019 U.S. Karate Open and won gold, silver, and bronze in the blind/visually impaired category!

Sonya Chapnick is a yoga instructor who, despite being almost completely blind, teaches at Braille Institute, runs her own Yoga studio, and was a contestant on Face the Wild with Bear Grylls. She uses a variety of accessibility and orientation and mobility techniques to live an active, healthy, and adventurous life.

A Century of Community

Be a Part of the Next Century of Possibilities

Our first 100 years witnessed incredible progress. Imagine what the next 100 can bring!

At Braille Institute, we help you do extraordinary things, enabling you to find a new vision for your unique life. Together we can break new boundaries, transforming opportunities for visually impaired people in the 21st century.

Wherever you are on the vision spectrum — low to no vision — we can help you thrive.

Join Us